Bad Enough A Plastic Pitch, But What Celtic Played On Yesterday Was An Utter Disgrace.

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Before yesterday, before we caught sight of it, we knew that we were going to have to play on a ghastly plastic football pitch. Ange’s disdain for the artificial surfaces was obvious in his pre-match interview. All of us feel the same way.

But what we actually saw yesterday, and what the players had to play on, was even more horrific than just what we had come to expect. It was patchy, un-watered and grotesquely dry. Appalling. These pitches should be outlawed anyway, but no club should be allowed to present for a major game with any surface, artificial or not, in such a state.

Clearly it was left like that to prevent us from doing our usual and zipping the ball around on it. It worked well, didn’t it? Obviously Ange had us practicing on the artificial surfaces at Lennontown in preparation for it; it was the best performance on one of those pitches that I’ve seen us turn in for a long, long time and it ended the nerves over them.

That might be the most important thing about yesterday; that it was the final exorcizing of old ghosts. We no longer have anything to fear from playing games on plastic. My mate said to me yesterday he thought that was the true significance of the Livingston win last season, and I think he was right. Yesterday proved it. We’re past that.

These have become as routine as any other away game, in spite of the best efforts of whoever was supposed to be “maintaining” that pitch yesterday for the purposes of playing football on it. The thing is, someone could have got injured on that disgraceful surface yesterday. I can’t be the only person whose only moments of fear came whenever one of our players went down on it.

We got lucky in that regard. In terms of demolishing Kilmarnock’s game plan, which involved letting that horrendous pitch go bad, that wasn’t lucky at all.

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  • Roonsa says:

    We weren’t that lucky – we lost Jens. I hope he’s not out for long. Same with Hatate. That’s 2 big name injuries in 3 games. Thankfully Ange has built a squad that can cope with a few injuries. But we really can be doing without them this early on given that we have a Champers League group stage to consider.

    Something needs to be done about those awful plastic pitches. Aberdeen and Ross County have grass pitches and they surely must have worse conditions to deal with than Livi or Killie. There is absolutely no excuse for it. Ban them. Yesterday. Pricks.

  • John Copeland says:

    If someone went to work knowing that the conditions of employment are of a dangerous condition that could seriously harm them or add to the strong possibility of a sickening injury or worse, I’m very sure a word in the boss’s shell like would not be inappropriate! To intentionally decide not to prepare yesterday’s plastic pitch with a watering at the very least, tells me Kilmarnock FC were one snide tackle away from serious injury to one of its own ,or a Celtic FC player! I’d like to think discussions are being had behind closed doors to rid the game of these hideous playing surfaces .

  • James White says:

    When Killie and Hamilton went down the opportunity was there to get rid of these plastic monstrosities. That opportunity wasn’t taken and I have no idea why not. At the very least, the SPFL should instruct all plastic pitches to be watered prior to kick off.
    Rugby Park is a nice stadium, and, as Roonsa says, it’s in temperate Ayrshire, not the colder north of Scotland.
    Killie have also decided to restrict us and the RW&B hordes to one stand only, that’s their perogative, but over the course of a season they are giving up around £500k in lost ticket sales. Only Billy Bowie can explain that one.

    • Damian says:

      Because Livingston was still in the league and hitting one club in particular (the poorest one, I think) with a huge bill to pay immediately, while cutting off revenue streams and creating yet others at the drop of a hat (when they had hitherto been acting well within the rules) would have been both unfair and logistically difficult?

  • Johnny Green says:

    I said yesterday that Celtic played well within ourselves, we didn’t take a lot of risks on that surface and had we been playing on grass we would have won by quite a bit more. We did not conquer the playing surface as such, but we won because we are simply a vastly superior team. I expect us now to do the same against the Diets on Sunday, let’s put them firmly in their place.

  • Tony B says:

    Are there no regulations about what constitutes a football pitch?

    Why not just go the whole hog and play on tarmac? After all, Hamilton Tarmac sponsor Kilmasonic so it would be two birds with one stone.

  • Effarr says:

    The tarmac contractors who sponsor Kilmarnock will be resurfacing smoother and softer surfaces this morning, weather permitting.

  • Bennybhoy57 says:

    Smoother and softer surfaces mean nothing to our overhead goal scoring specialists.

  • SSMPM says:

    I played on Killie’s pitch as a junior several times and it was one of the best surfaces in Scotland. As a fan going to matches it was the same and allowed entertaining football to be played even when other clubs’ pitches were frozen or waterlogged. I’m going back a bit here to when I kicked a baw there on the grass but not so long ago when we visited as supporters. The ground made for a great atmosphere, the surface was sweet, the football was good, the pies and bovril were outstanding, Ayrshire tatties make outstanding chips on a cold December night.
    Importantly also I remember you could put in slide tackles without burning your arse.

    • Damian says:

      I’m not quite following you. Are you speaking about Killie’s plastic pitch or their old grass pitch? You’re saying their plastic pitch is a good one?

      Not agreeing or disagreeing with you; just not clear what you’re saying from your wording.

  • Damian says:

    Agree re the state of the pitch. They’re used in Scandinavian top flight leagues, though I believe there are regulations around how often they’re upgraded, that they’re watered and that visiting teams can specify how watered they are. Ludicrous that we don’t have such regulations – given that opposition to them in general is so overwhelming.

    I read an Alan Morrison piece at least a couple of years ago now where he calculated that our average points on plastic pitches was actually higher than our average away points more generally. The pitches never have been a particularly good excuse for anything.

  • SSMPM says:

    Sorry if unclear fella, it was reference to the old playing surface, the grass pitch. I was trying to say its shite now having to see football played on plastic and particularly unnecessary really at Killie when the grass playing surface used to be good anyway and playable pretty much all year round. I guess plastic’s cheaper to maintain. Shame

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Teams like Killie Killing the footy with these plastic bitch of a pitch type surfaces…

  • Gerri says:

    Surely, in this day and age there should be NO plastic pitches in Scotland’s ‘Premier’ League… Even in England’s Championship (Division One), they were banned years ago.
    Having a proper grass pitch should be a requirement for any team who are playing their football in the SPFL. It’s not 2002, it 2022!
    There must be a way that the SFA, SPFL, etc., and their club sponsors can help financially so that both teams, (K/nok & Livi), presently using these monstrosities of a playing surface can upgrade to grass. One easy way to help with getting the required monies for the pitch upgrades would be to vastly reduce the salaries & pension packages of the inept bunch of clowns, a.k.a. the ‘allegedly’ High Heid Yins in charge of the Scottish game who have done next to nothing for years to further the professional game in Scotland yet are rewarded for their utter ineptitude, i.e., Doncaster, Maxwell, et al… Part of their remit is to supposedly improve the professional game so it seems perfectly reasonable to me anyways, to cap their salaries, etc., and use the large amount of cash saved to go towards helping any club presently, or in future years, to switch to grass.

  • sparks says:

    It’s a joke that the SFA are making a big deal of bringing in VAR technology but can’t get professional football businesses to get a few bags of grass seed.

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